What should I see this weekend?: 4/1-4/3

ScreenerBlog

This weekend, our reviewers recommend Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!!, New Zealand flick The Dark Horse and Russian auteur Alexander Sokurov’s Francofonia. Kill Your Friends... not so much.

(SR)=Specialty Release

The Good

Everybody Wants Some!!: “Richard Linklater’s cumulatively blissful 1980 college comedy tells an authentic story set in familiar territory. With charm and a laid-back attitude, it seizes wit and wisdom in carefree moments of youth.”

Francofonia (SR): “For those who enjoy chewing the old epistemological cud, who like to worry over this thing called existence but enjoy a good laugh all the same and admire a truly brilliant aesthetic performance, then by all means—Francofonia is one film well worth seeing in a proper theatre. Perhaps more than once.”

Notfilm (SR): “Outstanding ‘kino-essay’ about one of cinema history’s more oddball collaborations—a 1965 formalist experiment by Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton.”

The Girl in the Photographs (SR): “A creepy and quirky suburban slasher whose prosaic script is boosted by a playful sense of style, not to mention a welcome sense of humor, The Girl in the Photographs marks an amusingly gory sophomore effort from writer-director Nick Simon.”

Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame (SR): “Another remarkable senior gets the spotlight in this wonderful, inspiriting doc about a legend of the cycling world.”

Standing Tall (SR): “Patient audiences who value quality films expertly played and with terrific craftsmanship throughout, including actress and here co-writer and director Emmanuelle Bercot’s handling of difficult material, will behold a treat. But this one doesn’t go down smoothly.”

The Dark Horse (SR): “A beautiful and truly inspirational film from beginning to end, The Dark Horse may not get the attention it truly deserves, which is a shame, because it’s a hidden gem well worth tracking down.”

The Blah

Miles Ahead (SR): “Embracing the role of jazz great Miles Davis, actor Don Cheadle bites off a lot in what is also his debut effort as co-writer/director. He chews the role with intensity, but so determined an effort doesn’t quite compensate for obvious budget constraints, a dubious structure and a problematic screen hero.”

Chongqing Hot Pot (SR): “Basically three films in one, Chongqing Hot Pot falls apart at the worst possible moment. Until then it's a fun if improbable account of three hapless friends, the girl they loved in high school, and a fortune stashed in a bank vault. Good-looking and almost always entertaining, Chongqing Hot Pot suggests better work in the future from writer-director Yang Qing.”

Frank and Cindy (SR): “Expert performances by Johnny Simmons, Oliver Platt and especially Rene Russo nonetheless give this bizarre family saga an energy that it would not otherwise have.”

The Flight Fantastic (SR): Charismatic subjects and daredevil footage help padded-feeling doc. […] Attentive to certain details but sometimes distracted by tangents that add little to its core story, the film will play best with hard-core circomaniacs.”

Darling (SR): “Lauren Ashley Carter delivers a riveting turn in this stylish but derivative horror film.”

Afternoon (SR): “Tsai Ming-liang's latest film made its bow as a museum-bound piece—and it should have stayed that way. A two-hour-plus record of a rambling, stuttering conversation between the Taiwan-based Malaysian director and his longtime leading man, Lee Kang-sheng, Afternoon is more palatable as part of a contextualized setting […]  than as a standalone piece.”

No Home Movie (SR): “Partly an autobiographical account about her own family history and partially a work that will fill in gaps or further explain choices in some of the director’s previous works, this is a film that will be of interest to [Chantal] Akerman acolytes only.”

I Don't Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman (SR): “Impressionistic documentary about Chantal Akerman is best suited for those already familiar with the late, great filmmaker’s work.”

H. (SR): “Compelling in many of its small moments but a head-scratcher in the end, Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia's film may find some admirers but will be a hard sell.”

Catching the Sun (SR): “Pointing to solar power as an agent of economic and environmental change, Catching the Sun is full of good intentions. Slickly packaged, this superficial documentary feels like a corporate brochure or infomercial targeted to the blandly oblivious.”

The Ugly

Kill Your Friends (SR): “[M]istakenly thinks a lot of profanity, ugliness and bloodshed—as well as some era-specific soundtrack songs from Oasis, Radiohead and Ol’ Dirty Bastard—are, in and of themselves, enough to sustain a satire about showbiz ruthlessness.”

Meet the Blacks: “A wrongheaded, utterly incompetent and nearly laugh-free satire.”

God’s Not Dead 2: “Pounding its agenda with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, God's Not Dead 2 will no doubt please its target audience. Everyone else will be left wondering why its fans seem to be suffering from such a persecution complex.”